Pain, and the positive acceptance of it is a common theme in these pages. My life is organized around the belief that by engaging the pain in our lives, self induced or not, can turn us into better people. But after crashing on Saturday I’m wondering if all pain brings this about. The seed of doubt was sown as I changed my bandages for the fourth time since the wonderful ER surgeon who was moon lighting as the race paramedic patched me up on Saturday.
Working my way through a series of hard intervals? Fine, it hurts but I can deal. Bonking on long ass gravel climbs? Yeah that sucks, but the lesson is evident right away. Ripping off the only scabbing on your fresh wounds? Goddamn that hurt makes me want to curl up on the floor and cry. This coming from the guy who watched as a doctor once started stitching his finger back together, know full well that the Novocain had worn off. For the record I made it through three of the five stitches before she figured out, by my suddenly pale complexion that I could feel everything she was doing. The same thing happens with needles. Which could be the main reason no ink graces my pasty white skin.
The body is a wonderful thing, specifically it’s ability to heal itself. But it never seems to heal fast enough.
I told a friend that it’s probably a good thing that my bike was messed up enough that I am currently without my beloved whip. My body needs the time to fix the deep gashes on my elbow and knee and if my bike was in working condition then I’d be out with my wounds wrapped trying my hand at the week day races. I don’t know when to quit.
Yesterday my frame builder pointed out that I was stiff when I stood up from where we were sitting on the porch. It’s true, my body is still dealing with the impact, as is my bike.
So tonight, as I ripped off the only scabbing and winced in pain with the hope of not screaming out I started to doubt — just a little bit — how this pain is going to make me a better person.